Gambling sectors

What happens after I apply for an operating licence - arcades?




When the Gambling Commission receives your completed operating licence application and licence fee, you will get confirmation of receipt by letter within seven working days. We will give you an account number and we will start reviewing the information you have provided as soon as your application is recorded as received.

Reviewing your application

We need to be sure you are suitable to hold an operating licence, and that you are likely to uphold the licensing objectives. The questions on the operating licence application form help us work out your overall approach and intentions for your business. We look into your:

  • identity
  • background, and that of your partners and major shareholders
  • level of experience in the industry
  • financial relationships
  • business processes and procedures, present and planned
  • management and corporate structures.

We aim to process your applications as efficiently as possible, however this depends on whether you have given us all the supporting information we need. If any information is missing, this may delay your application.

We have the power to grant or reject all or part of your licence application. 

If we grant your application, we will then issue you with your licence, which we may attach extra conditions to.

Criminal record checks

Because of recent changes in legislation, from 17 June 2013, Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) will no longer send us a copy of your disclosure certificate.

When you receive your DBS disclosure certificate, you must send it to us as soon as possible. Any delay in sending the certificate to us will delay your application.

We will not accept copies or certified copies so you must send the original certificate, which we will return to you by recorded delivery.

Alternatively, in some circumstances you can avoid having to post the DBS disclosure certificate to us by joining the DBS Update Service

  • The changes will not affect applicants who live in Scotland and are completing a records check through Disclosure Scotland.

What do I do when I get my licence?

Keep your licence in a safe place. You need to be able to produce your licence on demand within a specified period, if a constable or enforcement officer asks to see it. A charge of £25 will be applied if you require a hard copy of the licence. No charge is made for electronic copies. 

Your annual fee is due 30 days after we have issued your licence, and every year after that.

Your licence will last indefinitely unless:

  • it is revoked after a licence review or failure to pay fees 
  • it is suspended
  • you choose to surrender it
  • it lapses, for example due to bankruptcy or death
  • it is forfeit, for example if a court orders it when you are convicted of a relevant offence.

You have rejected or refused my application, what can I do?

If we reject or refuse your application, we will let you know the reasons why and the steps you can take to appeal if you are unhappy with our decision.

If, following this, we make a decision to refuse your application, and you are not satisfied, you can appeal to First-tier Tribunal.

Page last reviewed: September 2013




Apply for a licence - you are here:

How do I apply?

When do I apply?

Application fees

Annual fees

What happens next?

Making changes to a licence


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